_ap_ufes{"success":true,"siteUrl":"tribuneonlineng.com","urls":{"Home":"http://tribuneonlineng.com","Category":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/category/a-healthy-heart/","Archive":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/2017/01/","Post":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/employment-opportunity-nigerias-foremost-door-manufacturer-emilinks-limited/","Page":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/newsletter-signup/","Attachment":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/employment-opportunity-nigerias-foremost-door-manufacturer-emilinks-limited/emlink-banner/","Nav_menu_item":"http://tribuneonlineng.com/43822/"}}_ap_ufee

Osogbo flood: Tears, pain that won’t go away

Scenes of the flood.

Residents of Osogbo, capital of Osun and the state government did not see danger looming when the torrential rain of 12th and 13th of September, 2016 that lasted for hours, descended.

Their confidence was based on the usual preemptive measures already taken by Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led administration in dredging waterways and channels in Osogbo and other communities prone to flood in the state.

From this standpoint, when the cloudy sky gave way to the heavy rain, residents and property owners were unperturbed, having the belief that the downpour was normal due to the fact that the nation is in the thick of a rainy season.

But, their seemingly lackadaisical posture of “no cause for alarm” gradually evaporated when the rain snowballed into a raging flood, leading to massive destruction of valuable properties, goods and the death of a 60-year-old man identified as Elder Olabode.

Though Nigerian Tribune learnt that more than three people lost their lives to the flood, the only ascertained casualty, Olabode, was trapped in his car by the flood on his way back home on Tuesday evening. His lifeless body would later be recovered on Wednesday at the bank of River Okooko in Oke Oniti area of Osogbo.

Sources informed our correspondent that some Hausa men, who were contracted by the late Olabode’s family, retrieved the corpse after an intense search which lasted several hours. The remains were deposited at the morgue of the Osun State General Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo.

According to eyewitnesses, the deceased was returning home in his car when he ran into the flood. He was said to have defied the advice to allow the flood to subside.

One of the eyewitnesses, Mr Thomas Onaolapo said “we all warned him to go back but he didn’t listen. After moving for a few minutes, the intensity of the flood forced open the booth of his car and the flood trapped him.

“Two people standing nearby made attempts to rescue him and one of them nearly got drowned in the process and we all became powerless. So there was nothing we could do to save him”, he remarked.

Areas terribly affected by the flood in Osogbo metropolis included Rasco, Oke Onitea, Obate, in Oke Bale, Gbonmi, Fiwasaye and Testing Ground.

Many residents and shops in these areas were almost submerged by the water level as terrified residents struggled to vacate their buildings, just as men of the Osun State Fire Service lent a helping hand to help evacuate the people.

It was reliably gathered that the flood was aggravated by blocked drains and debris thrown into water channels, which inhibited free flow of water, thereby culminating in the disaster.

Some of the affected victims, who spoke to our correspondent, lamented the destruction of their properties and valuables by the ravaging flood, calling on the state government to come to their aid.

One of them, Mrs Ajoke Akintoye, who lived around Oke Onitea said “we did not expect that the rain would cause so much damage. I have been living in this house for about three years and have not experienced this kind of flood. The water almost covered our house. We had to use a ladder to come out to safety.

“We are begging the government to assist us in any capacity because this loss is too much to bear. All our household items have been damaged by the flood. We have nothing again. All my clothes, including my children’s clothes have been washed away by the flood”, he lamented.

Another victim of the flood disaster, Alhaji Salmon Adedeji stated that “we were caught unaware by this flood because we never expected it. My house and shop were affected by it.”

Adedeji, who owns a cement and building materials shop around Rasco area, further explained that “what pained me most is that I just restocked my shop with about 50 bags of cements. All of them have been destroyed by water. Where do I start from now? I am confused.”

Governor Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday evening, said his administration was shocked and surprised following wreckage and massive destruction caused by the flood in the state.

He lamented that despite heavy investment of the state government in dredging waterways annually, it was unfortunate that the recent flood caused so much damage within Osogbo, the state capital.

Aregbesola, who sympathised with victims of the flood caused by the heavy downpour which lasted for more than three days, at a visit to areas affected by the incidents, warned residents against dumping of refuse in water channels to avoid flood disaster.

In a statement on Thursday signed by his director, Bureau of Communication  Mr. Semiu Okanlawon after his tour of the affected areas which included Okeonitea, Rasco, Fiwasaye and Gbomi, the governor said the flood occurrence took the state by surprise judging by the heavy investments of his administration on flood prevention since 2011.

According to Aregbesola, “considering our efforts in the past at ensuring cleared waterways, we never expected this. Our government deeply regrets the flooding that has affected our people. Since 2011, the government has been embarking on massive dredging of waterways in all parts of the state in order to stave off such disasters.

“I have moved round to commiserate with the victims whose properties were affected by this disaster. We have been quite committed to ensuring absence of this calamity since the advent of our administration as we have been regularly dredging the waterways on annual basis and as a matter of fact we are still very much indebted to those who normally work with us to ensure cleaning of our waterways.”

Aregbesola, however, attributed the development to what he called the negative impact of people’s activities on the environment adding that a huge accumulation of wastes remains a major invitation to flood.

He said, “This happens mostly when the negative activities of the people impact on the environment as we have seen a huge accumulation of wastes blocking the free flow of waterways. I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our people to heed our call to live very hygienic life. Let us cooperate with the government in the maintenance of good liveable environment”.

Reacting to the devastating effect of the flood, Aregbesola said his administration was shocked and surprised following wreckage and massive destruction caused by flood in the state.

He lamented that despite heavy investment of the state government in dredging waterways annually, it was unfortunate that the recent flood caused so much damage within Osogbo, the state capital.

Aregbesola, who sympathised with victims after his tour of the affected areas said “considering our efforts in the past at ensuring cleared waterways, we never expected this. Our government deeply regret the flooding that has affected our people. Since 2011, the government had been embarking on massive dredging of waterways in all parts of state in order to stave off such disasters”.

“I have moved round to commiserate with the victims whose properties were affected by this disaster. We have been quite committed to ensuring absence of this calamity since the advent of our administration as we have been regularly dredging the waterways on annual basis and as a matter of fact we are still very much indebted to those who normally work with us to ensure cleaning of our waterways”, he remarked.

Aregbesola, however, attributed the development to what he called the negative impact of people’s activities on the environment adding that a huge accumulation of wastes remains a major invitation to flooding.

“This happens mostly when the negative activities of the people impact on the environment as we have seen a huge accumulation of wastes blocking the free flow of waterways. I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our people to heed our call to live very hygienic life. Let us cooperate with the government in the maintenance of good, live-able environments,” he appealed.